Tag Archives: Backpacking

Horny Toad

“It was a rough land that bred a tough man.” —Louis L’Amour, Utah Blaine (1984) The observer may glean some insight into the nature of the land by looking at its native inhabitants. When you’re wearing a helmet of horns and shrouded … Continue reading

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Chocolate Lily

Fritillaria biflora Argh. The entire state of California (yes, that’s hyperbole) at the moment seems to be either gripped by what journalists and the news media love to hype as a wildflower “super bloom” or is suffering in the throes … Continue reading

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The Mighty Chanterelle and the Gnarly Oak

Santa Barbara County Chanterelle “In an oak forest alone, more than a hundred different species of fungi may be present in different parts of the roots of the same tree. From the oak’s point of view, this is a very … Continue reading

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Wild Oyster Mushrooms and Reading the Nuances of Nature

Oysters on a standing dead cottonwood tree in the Santa Ynez Mountains. You can see where the deceased tree’s canopy had filled in the now empty sky above, the other trees wrapping around it. “The hunter-gatherer lives on what is … Continue reading

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The Mighty Chia Seed, Cuyama Badlands

The Cuyama Badlands can be a wicked and terrible place for a human on foot with minimal supplies. Heaved aloft, scorched and desiccated, it’s a land clawed open and washed away by spotty cloudbursts that quench a sparse growth of piñon pine, juniper and sagebrush. … Continue reading

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